team

Who We Are

In 1998 Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard approached Mind in Brighton and Hove to start discussions about how to highlight the mental health needs of Brighton's LGB&T communities. A number of public meetings were held, involving local community groups, activists, service providers and service commissioners.

Comic Relief provided funding to start up an Advocacy, Group Work and Training project, run by Mind in Brighton and Hove. This became MindOut.

In 2011 MindOut branched out and became an independent charity on it's own.

MindOut is staffed by out LGBTQ workers and volunteers. The staff and volunteer team is:

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Helen Jones – CEO

Helen (she/her) helped to found MindOut 20 years ago in response to the demand for services to meet the needs of Brighton & Hove’s LGBTQ communities. She has worked in mental health advocacy for many years, as a psychotherapist, counsellor and group worker, and prior to that as a psychiatric nurse. She is passionate about empowerment, peer support and service user participation. Helen has an honorary MA from the University of Brighton for her services to the LGBTQ community.

Watch her Honorary Degree speech from the University of Brighton

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Lucy Kamper – Business Development Manager

Lucy (she/her) started her work with MindOut as a peer support group volunteer and went on to join us as the new Business Development Manager in April 2019. MindOut is a charity close to her heart and she’s excited to generate new sources of income and develop fundraising strategies for the organisation.

She is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and has previously run nutrition workshops for the Terrance Higgins Trust. She also holds a degree in Information & Media Studies and is interested in the representation of LGBTQ+ people in the media.

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Malaika Fallah - Fundraising Assistant

Malaika (she/they) joined the MindOut team in January 2021. As a new member of the team, she is looking forward to overseeing event/community and individual fundraisers. She was particularly attracted to MindOut as it's a charity for and run by LGBTQ+ people with an understanding/experience of mental health.

Before joining MindOut, she worked in hospitality and volunteered at RISE UK in digital fundraising and communications. Malaika has a Bachelors of Arts with Honours in Geography from UCL. During her time at university, she was the BME Publicity Officer, and she volunteered and then led the Environmental Justice Project to raise awareness to students and the public about environmental injustice.

In June Malaika joined the advocacy team on a temporary basis as a LGBTQ Mental Health Advocate.

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Alysa Friedrich - Training Programme Manager

Alysa (she/her) joined the MindOut team in November 2020. She is honoured to work for an organization that values compassion and authenticity, and hopes to grow the Training program to expand MindOut’s already-impressive reach. She is passionate about leadership development and capacity-building through training and is thrilled to be on the MindOut Team.

Alysa has a Bachelors of Arts in Urban Studies and Social Justice from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, as well as an MA in Sociology, Photography and Urban Culture from Goldsmiths University of London. She has worked in the Third Sector for over ten years on a diverse range of campaigns and issues including reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights and gun violence prevention.

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Georgios Hadjimichael - Office Manager

Georgios (they/them) joined the MindOut team in October 2018. As Office Manager, they maintain MindOut's databases, digital systems, and lead on office organisation. They have been part of the Admin team for three year, during which they have also gained experience as an LGBTQ Mental Health Advocate. Georgios is also one of MindOut's associate trainers, supporting and delivering training on LGBTQ mental health inclusion.

Georgios has also been a familiar face in Brighton's LGBTQ hospitality scene, working at local queer venues and pop-up events such as Brighton Fringe and Tramfrau.

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Christopher Roskelly - Administrator

Christopher (he/him) joined the MindOut team as Administrator in October 2020.

He has previously worked as an NHS administrator and communications specialist, and as Treasurer for Trans* Pride Brighton and Hove.  He has a special interest in websites and databases, and looks after day to day admin work in the office. 

He is interested in how access to information can support health and wellbeing, and passionate about empowering LGBTQ people.

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Jason Saw - Service Manager

Jason (he/him) joined MindOut in 2008.  He has worked in mental health and social care services for over 20 years, specialising in LGBTQ mental health advocacy and group work.  He joined us as a Suicide Prevention Worker, to develop a model of suicide prevention for LGBTQ people and communities and is now our Service Manager, providing operational management for all  MindOut services.

Jason is the first point of call to access our group work service, he facilitates Work it Out our support group for people in employment and he offers some of our advocacy case work.

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Mandy Bigden-Slack - Senior Advocacy Practioner

Mandy (she/her) joined the Advocacy team in 2018. She has worked as an Advocate for many years, and is a City and Guilds (Level 3) qualified specialist Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).

She has worked across a variety of voluntary and community sector organisations as well as within statutory services in London and Brighton, for people who are victims of hate crimes, experiencing homelessness and housing related issues, substance misuse concerns, ex- offenders, people with physical disabilities, minority communities and people experiencing mental health concerns;  but her passion lies with her Advocacy work supporting and empowering the community in Brighton.

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Zamy Camus-Doughan - Community Advocacy Worker 

Zamy (they/them) joined the MindOut team as the Community Advocacy Worker in October 2020. They help LGBTQ individuals access support regarding mental health & healthcare, representation, legal rights, safety and employment.  

They are also a youth worker with a focus on BAME participation with Free2B in South London. In the past 3 years, they have experience supporting LGBTQ people of migrant experience as a volunteer with UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) and have provided trans & intersex specific healthcare advocacy in London.  

Zamy holds a MA in Postcolonial Studies and as a student organiser formed community spaces for queer & trans people of colour and campaigned around anti-racism and promoting trans and intersex respect and well-being on campus. In their free time, Zamy enjoys reading, cooking and learning capoeira. 

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Karen Dresback - Over-50s Advocate, Community Engagement Worker, and Duty Worker

Karen (she/her) began volunteering for MindOut at Brighton Pride in 2013. Since then she has developed a wide base of skills in working with LGBTQ people affected by mental health, stigma, and discrimination. Prior to joining MindOut she previously worked in customer service, live music promotion, and administrative roles.

Through the MindOut volunteering training programme she has taken the opportunity to develop flexible skills as a Group Worker, Online Support Worker and Peer Mentor, before taking on paid roles in admin, group work, service delivery and volunteer management, casework, and advocacy.

Karen joined the permanent staff team at MindOut in 2018 when she became the Housing and Over-50s Advocate. In 2021 she took on a wider brief to include the Community Engagement and Duty Worker roles.

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Toby Griffiths  - Advocacy Worker

Toby (he/him) joined mind out in January 2021 as an urgent need advocate. He has a background in social care and also works as a community support worker.

Toby has a BA in Sociology with focus on queer theory, Mental health and marginalised communities.

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Amy Conkerton-Darby - Housing Advocacy Worker

Amy (they/she) joined MindOut in August 2021 as Housing Advocate. They are excited to work with other LGBTQ+ people and bring their values and experience together in their work, something which brought her to MindOut in particular.

They have previous experience of advocacy in residential homes and hospital settings, wanting to turn their experiences of accessing mental health care into something that empowers others. They have a BA in Philosophy and focused in particular on LGBTQ+ in philosophy, ethics, human rights and justice.

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Dawn Hayes - Peer Mentoring and 50+ Wellbeing Co-ordinator

Dawn (she/her) joined the MindOut Advocacy team in December 2017, specialising in housing related advocacy and now co-ordinates the Peer Mentoring and 50+ support services

Dawn’s career spans over 28 years and includes tenancy management and support, customer services, repairs and improvement, and service user participation/involvement to improve services. Dawn’s main passion and focus now is listening to the ‘voice of experience’, empowerment and inclusion.

I am delighted to be part of the MindOut team and use my knowledge and experience in a positive way’.

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Chris Barker – Suicide Prevention Group Worker

Chris (he/him) joined MindOut in January 2020 and facilitates weekly support groups including ‘Out of the Blue’. His background is working in community services for people who have experienced homelessness; he has also worked with a range of charities and public sector organisations to develop Peer Mentoring initiatives.

Since 2015, Chris has been developing an independent training and consultancy service. He is passionate about working alongside people who have lived experience of mental distress to deliver courses on subjects such as Trauma Informed Care, Suicide First Aid, Peer Support and Recovery Planning.

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Lou Thomas - Trans Advocacy Worker

Lou (they/them) joined the Advocacy team in 2021. They help trans and non-binary people have their voices heard, and combat discrimination and accessibility issues that impact them.

Lou studied an MA in Sexual Dissidence at the University of Sussex, where their research focused on disability, sexuality, and embodiment in a digital world. They previously worked with people living with HIV, providing health support and advocacy, and running peer support and wellbeing groups. Alongside their work in the charity sector Lou is a yoga teacher and arts facilitator, specialising in mindful, accessible and body positive wellbeing, particularly for LGBTQ+ communities. They run regular classes, workshops and events around Brighton & Hove.

Lou loves animals, being in nature, and reading on the beach.

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Darren Flint - Counselling Co-ordinator

Darren (he/she/they) joined the MindOut team in September 2016 as an Administrator. Darren has supported our Counselling service since it began, and is proud to now lead the service as Counselling Coordinator. They also deliver training and support the general management and service delivery of the charity.

Darren is an active member of Brighton’s queer communities. Alongside their roles for MindOut, they also run Counselling Intentions, a private counselling practice specialising in LGBTQ client work.

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Kitty Felix-Smith - Online Support Co-ordinator

Kitty (she/they) began their work with MindOut as an Online Support volunteer. They joined the team as Online Support Co-ordinator in October 2020, supporting volunteers and providing support to LGBTQ individuals. They also worked as QTIPOC Outreach Coordinator between October 2020 – June 2021. 

Kitty has a BA in Sociology. She is beginning a PGDip in Counselling and Psychotherapy in September 2021. 

Since June 2020 Kitty has joined the advocacy team on a temporary basis.